Our Inclusive Entrepreneurship work at the Case Foundation is built upon the core value that we must change the way we all talk about entrepreneurship, expanding who we lift up as success stories and busting myths that hold entrepreneurs back. National Entrepreneurship Month gave us a great opportunity to dive into the subject again and to celebrate entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds. It also gave us a chance to provide an honest look at some of the challenges of entrepreneurship.
We focus our work in Inclusive Entrepreneurship on challenges across race, place and gender, driven by the stark statistics that show the disparities faced by diverse entrepreneurs. Just looking at venture capital distribution reveals that only 10 percent of venture-backed companies have a female founder and only one percent have an African American founder. And just 75 percent of all venture capital is being distributed to just three states; California, New York and Massachusetts. Talent is everywhere; opportunity is not. And many of these elements are central to the stories that were at the core of our National Entrepreneurship Month blogs.
November 1st was both the first day of National Entrepreneurship Month and National Stress Awareness Day, so we kicked off our series with an examination of the role stamina and support plays in becoming an entrepreneur. We asked our #FacesofFounders entrepreneurs how they manage the stress of launching and running a business. See what they said in Confronting the Dark Side of Entrepreneurship.
On Veteran’s Day, we shined a spotlight on veterans in entrepreneurship and ways to support them. Our friends at Bunker Labs took to #FacesofFounders to share how the organization is working to build an ecosystem to support veteran entrepreneurs. Read what CEO Todd Connor had to say in How Bunker Labs Is Building an Inclusive Ecosystem for Veteran Entrepreneurs.
Then we looked back at the Essence Festival panel our senior vice president, Sheila Herrling, moderated with a group of entrepreneurial changemakers. Herrling shares some of the top takeaways from the informative and action-inspiring conversation in Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship.
Finally, to celebrate Small Business Saturday and #Giving Tuesday we focused on some of the many ways individuals can support entrepreneurs running businesses of all sizes. Not every entrepreneur has the same financial and social resources, and in Keeping Entrepreneurship at the Heart of the American Experience, we highlighted the many ways that individuals can support entrepreneurs in their daily lives and with the purchasing decisions they make.
We hope these stories has given you a chance to learn more about entrepreneurs, their valuable contributions and how you can support them. To learn more and to access a list of resources on these subjects, visit our website, follow our Medium publication #FacesofFounders and subscribe to Breaking Good, the Case Foundation’s weekly newsletter, to see more from us on entrepreneurship, race, place and gender.
There is much more work to be done and while Entrepreneurship Month may be over, we will continue to champion building onramps to entrepreneurship for all with the goal of everyone having an equal chance at unlocking the American Dream. We hope you will join us.